Image: Banner image of campus logo Merritt College

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s about Orientation and Assessment

FAQs about Orientation and Assessment

Please note: Orientation (in-person or on-line) MUST be completed before your scheduled Asssessment). 

1)   What are the assessments like, and how can I prepare for them?
The math and English assessments are multiple-choice tests and include a writing sample. Your score will correspond with a math and/or English class, that will be recommended for you. You will discuss your results with a counselor (see #3 below).
Most students do not study or prepare for these tests; the assessment results should reflect your current skill level and ability. However, some students want to review math material they have studied in the past, but may have forgotten, and some students feel out of practice taking tests and find it helpful to refresh their test-taking skills. Helpful resources might be books designed to help people prepare for the CBEST, SAT, ACT, or other multiple-choice standardized test—such study guides can be found in public libraries or commercial bookstores.

2)   Who takes the assessments? Who attends the orientations?
The assessments and orientations are available to all students. Many students are recommended for assessment and orientation because when they submit their admissions application they have noted an educational goal that identifies them as matriculating* students. The matriculating student’s educational goals are one of the following: to obtain a bachelor’s degree (with or without an associate degree); to earn an associate degree, vocational degree, or vocational certificate; to improve basic skills in English and math; or “undecided” on an educational goal.
Some students are exempt from the assessment tests and orientation because they already earned a degree from an accredited institution, have successfully completed recent English and/or math courses at another college, or have an educational goal that does not require assessment. Please see a full description of this information in the class schedule or college catalog, or ask counseling or assessment staff for details.

3)   What comes after the assessment and orientation?
You will review your assessment results with a college academic counselor to confirm that the recommended courses are best for you. The assessment results, along with other information you provide, will be used to evaluate these recommendations. All students should read descriptions of their recommended classes, and be prepared to discuss the courses they would like to take in the upcoming term when meeting with a counselor. During the orientation session, we will review the next steps in the enrollment process, and students will receive program-planning information.

4)   Do I have to take the classes that are recommended?
Not always. At times a student and counselor will agree that another course is more useful or appropriate for the student. In some cases students may want to challenge a pre-requisite course (the required successful completion of a course before enrolling in another course); you may ask a counselor about the process to challenge a pre-requisite class.

5)   What if I don’t want to take the assessment or attend the orientation?
If you do not qualify for exemption from assessment and want to waive or refuse the assessment, please ask a counselor about the process for reviewing high school transcripts. If you do not want to attend the orientation, please complete the online orientation.